Thursday, July 02, 2009


A tricycle, two wheels at the front, and between the wheels a huge box. Forty years ago, ice-cream vendors used something similar, pedalling their wares in more senses than one; in their case, the box was a fridge-on-wheels, packed with ice. What I saw in this box though brought an instant smile to my face - three small children, presumably on some kind of seats; behind them, her delicate summer dress catching the wind and fluttering in her wake, sat an attractive young woman, managing to convey a sense of carefree grace in spite of straddling such an ungainly contraption; the foursome seemed to be in lively engagement with each other and with the world they passed through.

Oh yes, and this was waiting to turn right on a busy urban dual carriageway in the London rush hour, a right turn which would lead them inexorably on to a long an very steep hill towards Hampstead.

The epitome of English eccentricity?

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